Are you itching for some outdoor adventure in the beautiful landscapes of South Jersey? Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely walk in nature, South Jersey offers a diverse range of hiking opportunities. In this guide, we'll explore the best places to hike in South Jersey, sharing valuable information to help you plan your next outdoor escape.
Why Hike in South Jersey?
South Jersey's natural beauty is a well-kept secret, boasting a variety of terrains, from lush forests to stunning coastal trails. Before you embark on your hiking journey, here are some tips to enhance your experience:
1. Check the Weather:
Always check the weather forecast before heading out to ensure you're adequately prepared.
2. Pack Essentials:
Bring along water, a trail map, first aid kit, and some snacks to stay safe and comfortable.
3. Wear the Right Gear:
Invest in comfortable, sturdy hiking boots or shoes with excellent traction for various terrains.
4. Follow Leave No Trace Principles:
Respect the environment by packing out all trash, sticking to designated trails, and minimizing your impact on nature.
5. Ticks and Mosquitoes:
South Jersey can be home to ticks and mosquitoes, so be sure to use insect repellent and check for ticks after your hike.
6. Join Hiking Groups:
Consider connecting with local hiking groups or clubs to meet fellow enthusiasts and discover new trails.
Now, let's dive into the top hiking destinations in South Jersey:
Wharton State Forest
Wharton State Forest, the largest state forest in New Jersey, is a hiker's paradise. Nestled in the heart of the Pine Barrens, it offers a network of scenic trails, including the famous Batona Trail, which extends for 50 miles. This long-distance trail is perfect for the adventurous hiker seeking a multi-day journey through this unique landscape. Below is a list of our top 5 favorite trails to hike in the Wharton State Forest.
Batsto Lake Trail
Mullica River and Batona Trail Loop
Goshen Pond Camping Area
Tom's Pond (Orange) Trail
Bass River State Forest
Located in the Pine Barrens, Bass River State Forest is another hidden gem. This forest features a variety of trails, with the Lake Absegami Trail being a favorite among hikers. The picturesque Lake Absegami offers a tranquil backdrop to your hike. Below is a list of our top 5 favorite trails to hike in the Bass River State Forest.
Yellow "Poppy Allen" Trail
Batona and Old Batona Trail Loop
Stafford Forge Ponds
Plum Falkinburg Trail and Yellow Poppy Allen Loop
Green "Nisky" Trail
Belleplain State Forest
For a serene hiking experience, head to Belleplain State Forest. Explore trails like the East Creek Trail and the Belleplain State Forest Trail, offering a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region. Below is a list of our top 4 favorite trails to hike in the Belleplain State Forest.
East Creek Loop Trail
Lake Nummy Loop
Belleplain Pink Trail to Road Loop
Pickles Factory Pond
Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
Perfect for birdwatching and coastal hikes, the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge boasts trails such as the Songbird Trail and the scenic Wildlife Drive. The refuge is a sanctuary for diverse wildlife and a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. Below is a list of our top 2 favorite trails to hike in the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge State.
Songbrid Trail Loop
DeCamp Wildlife Trail
Parvin State Park
Parvin State Park offers a range of hiking trails winding around Parvin Lake and through the surrounding wooded areas. The park's serene environment is perfect for a peaceful day outdoors. Below is a list of our top 5 favorite trails to hike in Parvin State Park.
Parvin Lake Via Long Trail Loop
Parvin Lake and Long Loop
Knoll, Loop and Long Trail
Parvin Lake and Muddy Run Paddle Route
Estell Manor Park
Explore the natural beauty of Estell Manor Park, where you can hike the Estell Manor Blue Trail. This trail takes you through diverse habitats, making it an exciting option for those seeking variety in their hiking experience. Below is a list of our top 5 favorite trails to hike in Estell Manor Park.
Swamp Trail and Boardwalk Loop
Swamp Trail to North End Trail
Estell Manor County Park Trains
Duck Fark Loop
Glasswork, Center, and Swamp Trail
Before setting out on your hiking adventure, make sure to check with local authorities or park offices for up-to-date information on trail conditions and regulations. With the right preparation and these fantastic hiking destinations, you'll have an unforgettable outdoor experience in South Jersey's natural wonders. So, pack your gear and hit the trails – South Jersey is waiting to be explored!